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Library of Parliament – MPs, Senators & Parliamentary Staff Study

Subject Matter

The Library of Parliament wanted to better understand the perceptions and views of its clients (i.e. Senators, Members of Parliament, and their staff) regarding the Library and the products and services that it offers. Two distinct research elements were undertaken – a set of in-depth interviews with Parliamentarians, and an online survey of Parliamentary staff. Areas of investigation included awareness and use of Library services, products, and branches, reasons for using library services, and satisfaction with service. A number of other issues related to clients’ use and sources of information were also explored.


As noted, this study used different methodologies for each audience. The research with Parliamentarians took the form of 38 in-depth interviews (33 MPs and 5 senators). Quotas were set by region, political party, and frequency of use of Library services in order to ensure the inclusion of a variety of perspectives. Most interviews were conducted with Parliamentarians who had used the Library at least a moderate amount (determined by the number of times they had contacted the Library). Most of the interviews were completed by phone, although some were conducted in-person. Interviews varied in length between 15-45 minutes.

The research with Parliamentarians’ staff took the form of an online survey. The survey was accessed through a live link embedded in email invitations sent to participants (the web link was also included in reminder emails sent to staff). A total of 1,111 invitations were sent out, 847 of which were received (i.e. the rest were bounced back, no longer valid, etc). In all, 262 staff members completed the survey (184 from the House of Commons, 78 from the Senate). This represents a response rate of 31%.

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